Getting to Know Jill Odom

by Courtney Mullen, Xylem Marketing

 Jill Odom is editor of Total Landscape Care magazine, based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

 Please tell us about your background and where you grew up.

I was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. After receiving a scholarship, I went to Troy University in 2011. I majored in English with a minor in print journalism. I worked on the school newspaper for four years, moving from being a writer for arts and entertainment to the variety editor and eventually was the sports editor for my last two years.

How did you originally get involved in the turf industry?

I graduated from college in 2015 and was looking for jobs on Indeed. I saw a position where you needed to know AP Style and I applied since I felt qualified! Turns out the publication was Total Landscape Care and I was hired as associate editor. I was promoted to editor a year-and- a-half later when my boss retired. I’ve been covering the Green Industry for three years now.

What does your typical workday look like?

A typical workday for me is getting to the office at 7 a.m., going through emails and looking for potential story topics for the day, especially anything time sensitive. I meet with my associate editor, Beth, around 8:30 a.m. to discuss what we each plan to write that day and any upcoming projects. Then I proceed to research and write whatever story I’ve chosen for the day, edit Beth’s story, publish the articles, schedule the newsletter and work on any other projects that are on-going until 4:30 p.m.

What do you do for fun?

Oh, I have a lot of hobbies! They often compete for my free time. I absolutely love to read and have an ever-growing pile of to-be-read books. I also enjoy going to the movies and playing video games. I’m a big Nintendo fan, but lately I’ve entered the world of PC gaming. I also like to draw, hike and practice taekwondo.

What is your favorite part of TOCA?

The best part about TOCA for me is the networking. It might sound clichéd, but I love the connections that you build.  Forming friendships with many PR people for different companies makes my job so much easier because they can put me in contact with sources that I need for a certain story. Also, I know I can trust them when they send me pitches because I know who they are compared to strangers from other agencies I’m not familiar with.

What’s the number one thing on your bucket list?

It’s probably a tie between cage diving with sharks and traveling to Ireland. I’ve been saving for Ireland for a while now, I’d just rather not go alone. As for the cage diving, I’m not really sure if I need to become scuba certified first so it’s more of a vague concept that I know I would do if presented the opportunity.